When The Moon Dances – Becoming the Oldest Generation is an exploration of a tender mother-daughter relationship tested by aging, dementia, distance, and the challenges of cross-cultural medical care. Based on Marianna’s real-life experiences with her mother, the book probes questions of wholeness and healing as well as family dynamics and responsibilities. Much of the story is set in Israel, where Marianna finds resistance to her more holistic approach to health. Despite the doctors’ skepticism, she finds ways to integrate shamanic practices into her mother’s treatment, and emerges with valuable insights for all of us as we navigate the aging process.
This book is currently being prepared for publication. In the meantime, you can read excerpts on Marianna’s blog.
Shuffling more slowly
each day, matching
the pace of my Mom and Jack
as they age, My fears
rise and fall as their voices
do, struggling to hear each other,
to see each other, even
to walk on
the broken sidewalk,
up cracked curbs,
through the sand
on the beach, past
the rocks … How rocky
old age can be.
This is a book about my reactions to my mother’s decay, her death, and the mourning period. The story takes place in Herzlia Petuach, Israel in 1996 and 1997.
My wish is that my writing about my mother’s aging and death help others as they pass through this human stage of life. It is hard to have a parent die. Maybe my experiences, chronicled here will be a helpful guide and comfort to others as they face this loss and also become the elder generation in the continuing cycle of life!
Themes of When The Moon Dances – Becoming the Oldest Generation
Set in Israel in the late nineties.
Dealing with My Mom’s Aging, Dying, and Death
My personal growth
- Starting to create family relationships by learning from my stepfather whom I feel is blocking them.
- Learning social graces -how my stepfather taught me by example to enter a room and greet people
- Cultivating family as a way of coping with aging parents
- Using witnesses to my writing of the events as a way for me to cope: feeling heard
- Using shamanic rituals and experiences as a way to cope with difficult aging and death.
- Thought provoking choices in our lives as we age.
- Letting go of my agenda for my Mom’s dying process
- Growing compassion
Shamanism and its use in helping me deal with this part of my life
Picture of Israel in the late 90’s – a Westernized Middle Eastern country
- Includes description of parts of Israel, along with current Israeli Jewish customs, all of which influenced my mother and me as well.
- Vignettes of their friends enlarge the picture and sometimes add a comic relief quality.
Contrasting my stepfamily’s dealing with previous death